Urban Interventions: Architecture as a mechanism of inclusion

Thumbnail Image


Publication or External Link






In the rapidly urbanizing world, it may seem normal to hear that while only 2% of the earth's surface is occupied by cities, 53% of the world's population lives in cities. What may seem alarming however is the fact that of that 53%, 33% of city dwellers today actually live in slums. To place matters into a more unsettling perspective, it is estimated that by 2030 over 2 billion people will live in slums. With this comes a sense of urgency: how do we respond as architects to these realities?

The context of this thesis is based on what Jorge Jauregui calls the broken city: that is, the "tension between the so-called formal' urbanization and informal' areas of uncontrolled sprawl." This realization makes the possibility of interventions in these types of places particularly complex: how does design adapt to the logics that exist in place while allowing for a more connected city? Can architecture act as a mechanism of inclusion rather than exclusion, thus extending the right to the city to all? This thesis therefore investigates the various means by which architecture and urban infrastructure might be introduced into an urban informal settlement in Buenos Aires with minimal disruption of the "logics" of the place.